Running

Discover the 10 best running trails in Montreal

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Where to go running in Montreal?

Montreal, a city where urban rhythm meets captivating green spaces, offers a unique running experience for everyone, from enthusiasts to casual joggers. Famous for its vibrant culture, historic architecture, and picturesque parks, Montreal offers much more than just a backdrop for your run; it invites you to a true exploration at the heart of one of the most dynamic cities.

Whether you're visiting or live in a neighborhood of Greater Montreal, this trendy city has a lot to show you. We present our top 10 best running trails, a selection designed to inspire your next urban outdoor adventure.

1. Parc Jean-Drapeau 

Located on two islands (Saint Helen's Island and Notre Dame Island) in the middle of the Saint Lawrence River, this trail offers paths with very little traffic, ideal for nature runs with a breathtaking view of the downtown area. Easily accessible by car or metro, Parc Jean-Drapeau is a must-visit to escape the noise and traffic of Montreal. Whether you're running directly in the park, through the picturesque gardens and well-maintained ponds, or along the F1 circuit track, you'll have access to more than a dozen kilometers to explore. For us, it's definitely the best view of the island of Montreal, especially during the golden hour!

2. Old Port of Montreal

The most lively place in Montreal is certainly the Old Port! Whether you opt for a waterfront run or through the streets to explore the heart of Old Montreal, you will be transported to a creative and lively universe. From century-old architectural buildings to the Montreal Ferris wheel or the various pop-up shops along the docks, there will be plenty to catch your eye. In addition, the breeze from the Saint Lawrence River is ideal at dawn to capture the magic of the sunrise or at dusk to enjoy the golden lights reflecting on the water. The Old Port is a must-visit for runners in search of a vibrant backdrop and an inspiring atmosphere.

3. Mount Royal Loop

It's a Montreal classic, offering spectacular views of the city. The path winds through Mount Royal Park, offering challenging climbs and rapid descents, perfect for all levels. It's possible to go there in both summer and winter since many people visit, the paths are often well-trodden. For those looking for an additional challenge, we recommend starting with the Olmsted stairs off Peel Street. It's 339 steps that prepare you for your run, an intense warm-up. The scenery is undoubtedly beautiful, a nice mix where nature and urbanity coexist in harmony.

4. Lachine Canal

Ideal for long distances without interruption, this flat route runs alongside the historic canal, offering a unique perspective on Montreal's industrial heritage and green spaces. This historic route, lined with waterways and greenery, is perfect for runners seeking tranquility and inspiring landscapes. In all seasons, the canal's trails welcome joggers and cyclists, offering a flat path that snakes along the water for nearly 14.5 km (about 9 miles). We love to finish our run with a little stop at the Atwater Market to pick up fresh and local ingredients for dinner!

5. Parc La Fontaine 

An urban park offering quiet trails and a 2.2 km (about 1.4 miles) loop. It's the ideal place for a relaxing run or a quick workout, surrounded by natural beauty and art pieces. It's also one of the largest parks in the city, covering 80 acres. Two ponds come together to add to the scenery, transformed into an ice rink in winter. Running in La Fontaine Park is also to enjoy Montreal's conviviality, with joggers and walkers of all ages sharing the same paths. The park regularly hosts cultural and sports events, adding a social dimension to your running sessions, not to mention it’s the perfect picnic spot.

6. The Plateau-Mont-Royal

Running on the Plateau is to live the true Montreal life. In this colorful urban experience, run through the bustling streets of the Plateau, discovering artistic murals, intimate parks, and community gardens, reflecting the creative and bohemian spirit of the neighborhood. The Plateau is famous for its lively neighborhood life, welcoming cafes, independent shops, and friendly parks like Laurier Park and La Fontaine Park, offering peaceful green spaces for a refreshing break. The Plateau's slightly sloping streets represent a good challenge for runners, combining physical training and urban discovery. Running early in the morning reveals the underlying calm of this bustling neighborhood, while evenings immerse you in its warm and welcoming atmosphere.

7. Westmount Neighborhood

Mainly residential, with pleasant and quiet streets, Westmount is a very hilly area—difficult to find flat zones. We particularly enjoy Westmount Park for its more urban experience and its greenhouse. Traverse the tranquil and opulent streets of Westmount, admiring the refined architecture and meticulously maintained gardens that characterize this distinguished neighborhood. The park offers trails lined with mature trees and vast lawns, perfect for those looking to train in a peaceful and inspiring setting. Include a visit to the Westmount greenhouse, a small sanctuary of greenery and tranquility, where the variety of plants and the beauty of the floral arrangements offer a perfect counterpoint to physical exertion. It's the ideal place for a refreshing break, to stretch your muscles, or simply to soak in the ambient tranquility.

8. St. Joseph's Oratory / Summit Woods

For a short but intense workout, we suggest climbing the 283 steps of St. Joseph's Oratory. Not only is it the tallest church in Canada, but it is also one of the largest dome-shaped structures in the world. Once the ascent is completed, we suggest continuing your journey towards Summit Woods (Summit Circle) surrounded by prestigious single-family residences. Summit Woods covers one of the three summits of Mount Royal. Dense vegetation, a sanctuary for birds and wildflowers, it is a mature urban forest covering 23 hectares (approximately 57 acres).

9. Riverside Bike Path

Take the Riverside Bike Path for a running experience that follows the soothing shores of the Saint Lawrence, offering an escape from urban bustle while remaining close to the vibrant heart of Montreal. This unique route harmoniously blends panoramic water views with the city's iconic architecture, creating an inspiring and diverse itinerary. Accessible and flat, it is perfectly suited for all levels of runners, from beginners looking to build their endurance to experienced athletes seeking their next long-distance workout. Along the way, you'll discover green areas, urban beaches, and picturesque rest spots, ideal for stretching or simply enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings.

10. Boucherville Islands Park

This park is located just before the tunnel bridge at the entrance to Montreal, but it still makes the list for its vastness, oasis of tranquility, and river landscapes. With nearly 20 km (about 12.4 miles) of flat trails, the paths are accessible to all levels and promise a refreshing running experience, far from the noise and hustle of urban life. The well-maintained trails run along the shores, offering splendid views of the Saint Lawrence River and diverse wildlife. Virginia deer are often seen, and it's suggested to turn off your headphones to fully enjoy the surrounding nature.

Whether you're looking to beat your personal record or simply enjoy a peaceful stroll to recharge, Montreal offers an ideal playground for all runners. Each selected route invites you to discover a new facet of this dynamic city, blending physical effort with urban wonder. So, ready to experience Montreal by running? Don't forget to gear up at Boléa to fuel your performance and enhance your recovery, with our products adapted to every stage of your athletic journey. Happy running through Montreal!